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Ironman triathalon training for a rookie. The HIGH’s and LOW’S

It has to be said that I’m not the poster child for someone who should attempt an Ironman.

I drink too much, have bad eating habits, and I haven’t been on a push bike in more years than I can count. Actually, I do remember. It was 14 years ago in China and I rode my bike back from the pub, crashing on the way home. I was drunk and awoke the next morning with no memory until I saw blood on my sheets.

So committing myself and paying £500 to attempt an Ironman is a stretch to put it mildly.

My fitness up to this point is that I have finished 3 marathons and run twice a week (for the past 1.5 years). That is pretty much it. Instead of attempting a local triathlon, I’ve decided to go for broke and train for the biggest event. It will challenge and frustrate me, make me doubt myself but after years of procrastination, my 43rd year is when I’ll hear those words that every person on the start line wants to hear at the end…”Iain Shiels, you are an Ironman!”.

So I bought a bike, a try vest (short and long), gloves because I’ll begin my training when it is the coldest obviously, can’t make it easy on myself, swim shorts, Garmin watch and hired a trainer who I start with in January. I’m excited and nervous to begin, mainly because I know once I start I have to keep going until I cross the finishing line. I’ll have to train daily, before and after work, in the rain and cold, eat during ungodly hours, and practice riding uphill which is one of my least favourite past times. Since I bought my bike, it has sat in my house in pristine condition as a homage to real cyclists everywhere. All the gear and no idea!

I chose Bolton in the UK as the course for one reason. That being I Googled what the easiest course in the UK was for a rookie and Bolton came up three times, so I booked it. Then I started seeing comments regarding how tough the bike course was; ‘a beast’ is what one guy called it, someone else called it ‘one of the toughest bike courses around’. Um…pardon? No, that can’t be right! Apparently is it.

So there you have it. Total triathlon novice who has obviously forgotten about the last six miles on each marathon I have run, ready to tick off one of the biggest endurance events. Piece of cake I say confidently. No problems…ahem.

So by my reckoning, I have until December 31st to live my old life. Eat and drink what I want, skip training runs, skip meals, and keep my bike in pristine condition. But after that my life for seven months changes. I’ll be off the booze, refuelling my body with the right foods, early mornings and early to bed, but I feel like I’m ready. This YouTube clip sums how I envision the first 7 months of 2020 to be

So stay tuned and log on to follow my goal achievements, weekly plans, injury updates, plus generally the highs and lows of a rookie on a course he has little experience being on until now.


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